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Waltham Chase Aeromodellers

Club Focus

Club Profile

Waltham Chase Aeromodellers started its existence around 1973/4 as a youth club for young people with an interest in aviation. Most of the members were in fact aged between 10 & 16 with only a small group of adults. The flying site was in Forest Road, Waltham Chase, hence the name; flying took place on Tuesday and Friday afternoons after school and evenings plus Sunday mornings. There was also a monthly meeting in the Village Hall where “round the pole” and indoor flying took place plus building lessons for the younger members. The models were mostly control line, free flight and simple 2 and 3 channel radio control. Eventually the Forest Road site was lost due to being turned into horse paddocks and the replacement site(s) were unfortunately at a distance that meant parents now had to ferry their children to them. Gradually the youngsters disappeared until the only ones left were the sons and daughters of the adult members. The club however increased its senior membership and at one time had three flying sites in rotational use. After many years two were lost due to being turned into A: posh housing + a golf course and B: a playing field for a local youth football club.
The club is very active in the Southern Area BMFA and over the years has assisted, hosted and organised many events for the S.Area. Included in these are the Winchester Model Show (3yrs), Queen Victoria Country Park Model Show (7yrs), gliding competitions and many swap meets. The club on behalf of the S.Area BMFA currently organises 31 indoor events for Free Flight and RC during each year and has been the question provider / question master in the 31 year old annual BMFA “Balsa Brain” quiz competition for the last five years plus. WCA has two members on the S.Area Committee at this time.
WCA also organises its own in-house competitions including, summer monthly electro-glides, (100 inch class), Sportsman and Masters Aerobatic competitions, plus Best Scratch Built Model and a glider Coup d’Hiver.
The club and all its members are fully affiliated to the BMFA.
WCA is limited in its membership numbers primarily due to the limited parking area during the winter. There is currently a short waiting list to join and new members are taken on board as space becomes available. The club is principally formed of enthusiastic builders and flyers who are friendly and helpful.
The current flying site, still located near to Waltham Chase, has now been in use for nearly 40 years. It is owned by a local farmer to whom we pay rent and consists of a mown and rolled area approximately 80m by 50m of which the actual take off and landing area is approximately 80m by 30m. With the exception of the farmer’s house the site is 0.5mile from housing and is recognised by Winchester CC as a model flying site. It has hard standing for parking in the winter and parking in the flying field in the summer, 100m from the flight line. WCA can over-fly some 20 acres of fields but there are the odd fence and hedge row to be avoided.
As the site is on a working farm we do not fly 7days a week. Flying periods are three days a week during the winter and four during the summer. The rent we pay also includes part use of a barn for the storage of our ride on mower and towed roller plus other items of our equipment. We find the use of specified flying periods is a very good way of keeping the club active and the members together plus it obviates the need for frantic phoning around to see “if anybody is going flying” today.
WCA has two club examiners for BMFA “A & B” tests and actively encourages members to participate in the BMFA Achievement Scheme. Two members are also S.Area BMFA “Area Chief Examiners” so that “C” tests can also be taken by club and non club members. A helicopter ACE also resides in the immediate area thus allowing “B” helicopter tests to be taken at short notice.
The club has several certified “Instructors” and buddy box systems to allow new members and “Ab Initio” pilots to be taught to fly to an acceptable standard. The club can provide a WOT 4 Trainer aircraft as well but the trainee is expected to provide the fuel.
The club circulates a monthly news letter by email, some times bi-monthly if there are sufficient articles available. This keeps everybody up to speed and helps those who can’t get to the flying site on a regular basis. I.E. “Family Duties”
Models Flown:
WCA flies all types of models at our site including I.C and electric fixed wing RC models of all types from simple trainers to large aerobatic models and multi-engine scale. Also flown are gliders of all types plus helicopters and quads including FPV. We have a small contingent of control line flyers and a small group of free flight pilots who fly when the conditions favour although the size of the site limits FF to very short motor runs. Most of our Free Flight members tend to use Middle Wallop and / or the ex WW 2 airfield at Beaulieu Heath when they get the urge for some serious “start the motor and chuck it sessions”.

100 inch electro-glide models ready for the summer competitions

A 1/10 scale Vickers Wellington. A 22 month build on Tuesday evenings and wet and /or windy Sunday mornings by four WCA club members.

Getting ready for the “Best built model competition” No RTFs or ARTFs

Monthly “Small RC models indoor meeting” at Wickham.

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